Limerick powerlifting charity event raises over €13,000 for  Heart Children Ireland.

The Irish National Charity Powerlifting Championships were founded in 2016 by Shane and Amanda Brodie, to help give back to those who helped their son Alex who was born in 2014 with a congenital heart defect.

Alex’s defect – knows as Transposition of the Greater Arteries (TGA) – wasn’t picked up at birth which lead to a late diagnosis. At just 14 days old he was transferred to Crumlin where he underwent a procedure to stabilise him and allow him go forward for open hear surgery only four days later.

While undoubtedly a stressful time for the family. Alex’s mother Amanda says the level of care at the hospital was second to none.

“The care and attention Alex received in Crumlin along with the support offered to us was second to none, they cared for him like he was their own child. They trained us in what we needed to know to help Alex’s recovery. I will never be able to repay the surgeons, doctors, nurses and staff of Crumlin and the Children’s Heart Centre for what they did for us.”

Only two weeks after his surgery, brave Alex was discharged from Crumlin and was back home in Limerick. Moved by the care and attention given to them by the hospital, Shane and Amanda set about giving back. They decided that they would use their passion for powerlifting to raise funds.

An initial fundraising drive gathered €700 which went to the parents’ accommodation at Crumlin which served as home to Amanda and Shane throughout Alex’s stay at the hospital. Next up it was initiatives like raffles and a sky dive which netted another €2000.

But it was 2016 that saw the Brodies take on their biggest fundraising task to date with their very first Charity Championships  – the main benefactors of which were CMRF and Ronald Mc Donald House Crumlin. While powerlifting is ultimately an individual sport the atmosphere and culture within powerlifting clubs is very much one of a team.

Lifters and organisers pictured at the recent charity event in Limerick

Amanda says she will never forget the support of the powerlifting community across Ireland in helping them raise funds.

“The support from lifters throughout Ireland along with family and friends blew us away. Some companies came on board to help us with costs. We raised over €14,110.00. We gave €2000 to Ronald mc Donald which was acknowledged with a gold plaque of their wall with Alex’s name on it. The remainder went to CMRF.”

“The success of 2016s competition drove us on to do it all again in 2017. I became a registered volunteer for Heart Children Ireland who we choose as our 2017 benefactors. Heart children Ireland work tirelessly to support people like my husband, myself and especially Alex. Along with other families just like us. Not only as children but also as they transition in the young adult services.”

Buoyed by the success of the 2016 event, Amanda and Shane decided to run the competition again in 2017 and one more it was a big success. Amanda says they couldn’t have done it without the help of all their sponsors, supporters, volunteers, lifters and of course the IPO.

“2017 was a great year for the IPO. Supporters got behind us 100% along with lifters filling sponsor cards the total came to €13,032.91. We were delighted to present the cheque on behalf of the IPO and our lifters at the 2017 Christmas party. We recently received a letter from Heart Children Ireland to inform us the money we raised has been used to extend Family Psychology Support Service which is free to all members and they will also be purchasing number of new Cogu-Chek machines throughout the year for young adults which cost €550 each.”

Since 2014 The Brodies along with the support of the IPO, the lifters, the sponsors, the companies who came on board they have a raised €30,842.00 since they started their fundraising journey and they set to continue their fundraising efforts into the future.